Search icon


30th Jun 2022

Supermarket cracks down on people breaking off broccoli stems to save money at the till

Charlie Herbert

shoppers removing broccoli stems to save money

People have been left divided over whether this counts as theft

A supermarket in Australia has issued a warning to shoppers who break the stems off broccoli before buying it in order to save money.

Because customers pay for the vegetable based on its weight, by breaking off the stem which they don’t want to use they’ll pay less at the till because it will weigh less.

Just like the UK, Australia is being hit by soaring prices, with a kilo of broccoli now costing A$11.90 (£6.75).

The trend of removing stems before buying was even addressed in a recent viral TikTok.

@jenn_shaw_ food prices in #Australia#foodwaste #foodprices #kitchenhacks ♬ Taste It – Ikson

One comment under the video claims customers can save up to A$1.50 by using the stem-removing hack.

Now a supermarket has decided it has had enough of the trend, warning its customers that removing the stems would be deemed theft.

The sign read: “ATT customers. You must not break the stems of the broccoli.

“This is classed as theft. All broccoli purchases will be checked at the registers. Thanks, Management.”

This sternly-worded warning sparked plenty of debate after it was shared by radio station 3AW Breakfast.

Some questioned how leaving the broccoli stems counted as theft, with one person writing: “Technically not theft if you’re leaving it and taking what you pay for.”

Another said: “It’s not theft. That shop needs to understand contract law. The contract between customer and shop in agreeing on a) the item and b) the price.

“You’re not stealing it. You’re paying for what portion you want/need. Where’s this shop? I’ll break them stem off.”

A third person wrote: “How is it theft when you are leaving it in the store?”

Others were keen to explain how this could be considered theft though.

But others were much more concerned about why anyone would possibly want to leave what they believed to be the best part of the vegetable.

One questioned the logic by asking whether people would “peel an orange before you buy it?”

Another wrote: “Stems are so useful. Who on earth wouldn’t want them?”

And a third clearly had a strong love for that particular part of broccoli, claiming they “only eat stalks.”

Some offered their suggestions for what you can use the stems for. These included cutting them up and sticking them in an air fryer to make chips, including them in a stir-fry for some extra crunch, or simply just boiling like the florets and eating as they are.

Related links: